Tower Hamlets mayor urged not to rent out parks on Isle of Dogs

Campaigners in east London are calling on Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman to stop public parks being hired out for commercial events.

They want him to stick to a vote at last September’s council meeting for three parks on the Isle of Dogs to remain “solely for the use of residents and community groups for recreation, leisure and sports.”

A battle has been running against parks being hired out, following last summer’s controversy over large tracks of Victoria Park being out of action for weeks because of commercial events.

Now families are worried the same could happen at Millwall Park and nearby Island Gardens on the riverfront opposite Greenwich and Sir John McDougal Gardens—because the September 21 council vote was overturned at the Mayor’s executive cabinet meeting on January 11.

The council’s Scrutiny committee last week called in that cabinet decision.

Cllr David Snowdon said: “The mayor should hear all the views of residents and user groups before going ahead with this decision to rent out our parks.”

The committee voted to ask the Mayor to think again—but the following night (Wednesday) the Mayor’s cabinet turned down the demand.